Vienna, capital city of Austria, is located on the banks of the Danube-it is a city of imperial palaces that housed the Habsburg Dynasty, museums, beautiful baroque complexes, huge gardens and parks. The trick is to take a walking tour of this city where you can enjoy at your own pace. The parliament building, the council hall and the numerous fountains, statues and coffee houses can best be enjoyed on foot. Vienna offers a unique blend of imperial traditions and modern architecture.
Thus Vienna has heaps of fantastic things to do and see, and if you get tired there are beautiful parks to rest with alluring views. The city is dotted with a wide variety of restaurants and coffee houses serving to every ones taste to satiate your hunger after a good long walk.
Here is a list of places that have set apart Vienna on the world map.
1. Schoenbrunn Palace
This is the most famous attractions of in Vienna – a place with beautiful baroque complexes with imperial ceremonial rooms. It is former residence of the royals from the Habsburgs Dynasty. The spectacular palace with its magnificient gardens does not ever fail to impress its visitors. History says that Emperor Leopold had commissioned the imperial palace of 1441 rooms . It was converted into a residence of Maria Theresa, the only female Habsburg ruler.
Another must visit place in the palace is the classical Gloriette Arcade on the top of the hill at Schonbrunn. built in 1775, the Gloriette commemorates the battle of Kolin of 1757, when Austrian troops defeated the Prussian army of Frederick, The Great. It is a hike from the Schoenbrunn but a worthy one because from here you get a superb view of the palace and the city.
The walk in the magnificient gardens are a feast to your eyes – the very exotic styles of decorating the lawns and plants is an icing to this tour.
To enjoy this tour you need a half day in your hands to suffice you in terms of touring, soaking in the beauty of the place and taking pictures.
2. Albertina Museum
This is the most important museum located in the heart of the city centre, it houses the most fascinating art collections of the world. It owns masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Monet, Chagall, Ritcher and many known artists. There are works from French Impressionism and fauvism to works of expressionist artist groups. These are on permanent display in the museum. You can also view sculptures, drawings, photographs, architecture of the Habsburg era.
There is an entrance ticket, also, you can avail the ear phone facility where you get to hear all about the art work that you are viewing, the era when it was painted, the mindset that instigated the artist to go ahead with the artwork, the whole emotion of the work by the artist. In fact this was the reason that captivated our attention in viewing the artworks with so much of intensity because it is not just the painting but also the whole emotion and reason behind it.
The museum is huge and requires a few hours time to actually enjoy viewing the masterpieces.
At the end of the tour you find a souvenir shop to take away the memorabilla of your visit to Albertina museum in the form of tableware, posters, postcards, trinkets and many convenient portable items.
3. Hofburg Palace
This palace was the centre of the Habsburg empire for years, it dates back to the 13th century. It is an impressive building in Heldenplatz with a long history. For years it has been the winter residence for the Habsburg Dynasty and the Schoenbrunn has been the Summer residence. It shows many architectural styles from Gothic to Renaissance, Baroque to Rococo, now it houses museums, library, the chapel and the church Augustininkeche. The castle is the only one that demonstrates its medieval past.
You will also find the magnificent horseman monuments at Josefplatz, a public square located at the Hofburg palace. The name of the Heldenplatz is based on the two magnificent monuments which were created by Anton Dominick Fernkorn.
You can visit the chapel, the national history museum, The national library and The Spanish riding school in the area around the palace.
4. Volksgarten : Vienna park with a rose garden
It is a public park which is a part of the Hofburg palace and was laid out by Ludwig Remy in 1821. The park was built over with a very romantic view of roses all around. It makes a perfect setting for taking photographs and many tourists can be seen clicking the beautiful array of blooming roses in disparate colours.
A lovely place to relax your tired legs with a spectacular view of blossoming roses after a long walking tour of the palace, museums and the many more attractions of the Heldenplatz. You will find magnificent monuments too when you walk around this vast space that will give you a glimpse into the era gone by.
The graceful, white Theseustempel in the middle of the park is the perfect photo motive.
5. St Stephen’s Cathedral
St Stephen’s cathedral is most iconic place in Vienna. Again, trip to Vienna remains incomplete for any tourist without visiting this place. The most prominent feature of the cathedral is the Gothic South Tower , which was completed in 1433.
St Stephan’s Cathedral has a good collection of art like the Gothic winged altar from 1447, the tomb of Prince Eugene of Savoy, reside. In the North tower, you will find Austria’s largest bell, known as the Boomer Bell. The South Tower has 343 steps to climb after which you reach the watchman’s lookout 246 feet above street level. The staircase is spiral and requires you to be in good health to climb all the steps. Once on top we can enjoy the view of the city and take pictures.
6.Vienna State Opera
Vienna State Opera is one of the leading opera houses in the world, known specially for the performances of Wolfgang Amadeus, Mozart, Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. Mozart operas continue to play an important role at the Vienna State Opera. He composed a total of 22 operas.
You can take a tour in the Opera House that takes around an hour. It is wonderful to know about the Viennese history in the 19th and 20th century through the opera point of view.
Once in a year the opera house detach the seats in its stalls and replace them with elegant dance floor, attracting a huge crowd every year.
7. Cafe Sacher, Wien
This is a well known coffee house in the heart of the city and it takes a visit to taste its famous cake that goes by the name of Cafe Sacher. The very popularity of the cake stems out from its history. Now the history of making of the cake for the first time goes back to year 1832 by a 16 year old apprentice Frank Sacher. It was Eduardo Sacher who opened a luxury hotel in the heart of Vienna by the name of Sacher. Now the hotel has expanded, has its presence n Salzburg and Innsbruck.
The cake takes days to prepare and has to be eaten in a specific temperature. This is a place where discussions were held by many big personalities including the political world. The ambiance is very imperial staying true to the city of Vienna and the staff is very courteous. They make it very comfortable and cosy for us to enjoy the famous Sacher Torte cake. We ordered a slice and a coffee to go with it. The cake stays true to its popularity and is delicious.
It is a bit expensive, but is a must visit to enjoy Vienna to its core.
Vienna has numerous coffee houses and restaurants all over the city. There is no dearth of shopping too, you can visit the popular shopping street, Graben Vienna shopping street.
The Plaqe Column located on the Graben Street was erected after the great Plaque epidemic in 1969, the Baroque memorial is one of the most prominent sculptural pieces of art in the city.
Vienna has plenty of things to offer that can keep you very entertained with its huge palaces, monuments, many museums, statues, church, parks and gardens and its coffee houses. This is a must visit city in Austria and do not believe it otherwise.